Executive Education

Corporate Social Responsibility In India: Creating Compassionate Business Practices

Indian Woman

Businesses have always had a huge impact on our lives, not just economically but socially and ethically as well.  Today, Building conscientious business practices has become a very important aspect towards building a better world together!

In today’s times the role of CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) is becoming extremely important as forward-thinking, socially conscious companies embed initiatives in their business practices that add value and benefit society, build healthy communities, enhance cultures while at the same time work towards environmental wellbeing.

By practicing socially responsible initiatives your company not only appeals to socially conscious consumers and employees, it actually makes a difference to our planet.

Business CSR can encompass a wide range of initiatives ranging from acts of charity to establishing and implementing “greener” business practices by innovating and modifying their current operations. Some of the basic areas that a Company can contribute with their CSR are:

Charities – By donating to Charities, Community programs, social and environmental causes that resonate with their vision and charter.

Sustainability and reducing the carbon footprints are a significant aspect of being a socially conscious company and CSR initiatives in this direction helps the company to gain respect and goodwill which in turns helps their business bottom line.

Yet another aspect of CSR is establishing ethical and fair practices for employees with a good healthy corporate culture.

Supporting certain Socially Responsible causes generously by way of donations and sponsorships without expecting anything in return helps people to see the vision and philosophy of the companies and  their concern for specific issues. This not only helps the society at large but also helps the Company gain the goodwill of their customers and audience.

India’s Top 10 Companies for Sustainability and CSR 2016.

In India, CSR initiatives from companies have contributed towards various Social responsibilities and continue to support various sectors such as education, health, eradication of extreme poverty, reducing child mortality, environmental sustainability, employment enhancing, gender equality, women empowerment, etc. Here are the rankings of the top ten companies in India that have significantly contributed towards sustainable social development through their CSR initiatives.

1. Tata Steel of India is the first integrated private sector steel plant in Asia. The Group is one of the top-ten global steel companies and world’s second-most geographically-diversified steel producer. The company spends 5-7% of its profit after tax on CSR initiatives. Tata Steel ensures that dust and other emission levels are within permissible limits by regular monitoring. Through their “Building beyond Borders” programme, they have conducted numerous community health programmes in India to improve child health, awareness of sexual health and HIV/AIDS. They provide a range of scholarships and programmes to encourage quality education to the poorly privileged students. They sponsor many sporting events and activities globally. Tata Football academy in India produces players for the national team where they are mentored and encouraged in a scientific way.

2. Tata Power Company Ltd. established in 1915 is India’s first large hydro-electric project. The company is present in all the segments of the power sector such as Fuel Security and Logistics, Generation (thermal, hydro, solar and wind), Transmission, Distribution and Trading. Tata Power is poised for extensive CSR by constantly giving top priority to social concerns. The company is encouraging innovations and deploying eco-friendly technologies to promote energy conservation campaigns. Tata Power has participated in construction of schools and addition of classrooms in villages with an increased number of girl students. They conduct medical camps and have partnered in Polio Immunization Drives of the Government by providing relevant infrastructure.

3. Ultra Tech Cement Ltd. is India’s largest manufacturer of grey cement, Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) and white cement. They have operating units spanning across India, UAE, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. With their eco-friendly approach, the company advocates usage of alternate fuel resources and are in the middle of installation of Waste Heat Recovery Systems (WHRS) in India and in the UAE. For their townships, they utilize energy from solar photo-voltaic system for electricity and use wind energy in one of their units. To harvest rainwater, they have put up Rain water harvesting systems for effective ground water recharge in their various units. They coach numerous girl children to get through admission tests, conduct family planning programmes and Self Help Groups to encourage people.

4. Mahindra & Mahindra Is one of the largest Indian Multinational automobile manufacturers and also functioning in various sectors such as financial services for the rural development, building and assembling of military vehicles and electric power plants. The company is the largest manufacturers of tractors in the world and has global assembly plants distributed in Mainland China, The United Kingdom and The USA. In terms of CSR, the company believes it is a responsible practice that involves ethical policies and environmental consciousness. Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF) works on promoting quality education and employment through a variety of projects in coordination with NGOs. Their focus is to support the specially enabled through projects.

5. Tata Motors with a colossal production of vehicles have built a powerful network of subsidiaries and associate companies like Jaguar Land Rover in the UK and Tata Daewoo in South Korea to work for engineering and automotive solutions. Being a signatory to the United Nations Global compact, Tata Motors contribute 2% of their turnover on R&D. Their joint venture with Cummins Engine Company, USA, in 1992 has introduced emission control technology in India and working on developing alternate fuel engine technologies evident by CNG version of buses and passenger cars. For greater access to quality education they offer scholarships, improved infrastructure and conduct students and teacher training programs. They have collaborated with Industrial Training Institutes across 19 states for skill development and women empowerment.

6.Tata Chemicals Limited is a global company with interests in businesses that focus on essentials for LIFE: Living, Industry and Farm Essentials. The story of the company is about harnessing the fruits of science for goals that go beyond business. Their vision is to be a leader in corporate sustainability, focusing on all three elements of ‘people, planet and profits’.
Through its portfolio of Living Essentials, the company has positively impacted millions of people in India. The Tata Salt brand is a market leader in India’s branded iodised salt segment, and is a part of the everyday life of over 600 million consumers. With the introduction of Tata Swach, an innovative, low-cost and nanotechnology-based water purifier, TCL provides affordable and safe drinking water to the people. Tata Swach offers complete water purification solutions through its range of non-electric, UV and RO purifiers. TCL has carved a strong position in India as a provider of agri-solutions. Under the Farm Essentials segment, the company offers farm inputs, such as fertilisers, pesticides, speciality nutrients, seeds and agri-services, which are required to improve crop health and productivity.

Through the Tata Kisan Sansar (TKS) network, TCL offers special services to farmers, such as information on new and improved agronomic practices and use of agricultural inputs. TKS is a network of nearly 900+ farmer resource centres that caters to more than 2.6 million farmers across 26,000 villages in the northern and eastern parts of India. Tata Chemicals has implemented several schemes to save energy across its plants, including the commissioning of a solar photo-voltaic plant.

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world and was once slaughtered along the Gujarat coast in large numbers for its oil and meat. This led to a steep decline in its population and hence, it was declared an endangered species in 2001. The ‘Save the Whale Shark Campaign’ was launched in 2004 with an aim to create conservation awareness amongst the coastal communities and garner their support for protecting this endangered fish. The save the whale shark project has been a big success with the State Forest Dept. institutionalising the Whale Shark Day programme, and the granting of monetary relief to fishermen who have incurred fishing net damages during whale shark rescue operations.  The programme has, till date, helped rescue 585 whale sharks, which makes it one of the biggest achievements in the rescue and release of an endangered fish worldwide.

To preserve community and biodiversity, various programmes have been structured and implemented for Regeneration of Mangroves, biodiversity plantation project, save the Asiatic lion project, Mithapur coral reef restoration project and many more.

7. ITC Ltd. The company is one of the foremost multi-business enterprises in India featuring one of the world’s largest sustainable consumer goods industries. ITC encompass Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Hotels, Paperboards, Packaging, Agri-Business, and Information Technology. ITC under its CSR activities launched e-Choupal, a knowledge portal for farmers with a range of information and services to enable them to bargain collectively and enhance their transitive power to grow their business. The company has promoted watershed projects and provided water resources for irrigation and livestock in the rural sections. Under Integrated agricultural development, ITC has promoted crop diversification, medicinal and aromatic plants.

8.  The Shree Cement Company operates in Cement and Power as their core business. The company is known for its efficient and environment friendly practices in the global cement industry. Their CSR areas are focused on energy and climate conservation. Under these initiatives they have worked successfully  on reducing dust emissions by 18%, Carbon emissions by 2% and 2.6% fuel consumed for clinker production in year 2014-15. All the waste water generated is recycled and reused within operations.

9. Bharat Petroleum Corporation is one of the oldest and leading oil and Gas Companies of India. They have been one of the first to adopt CSR practices and follow various social activities.  BPCL has adopted 37 villages across India to make them self-reliant, provided medical facilities, have helped to enhance income standards by imparting vocational training and agricultural innovations. They have undertaken projects on education such as a “Mobile science Van” and “Science learning hub” which works in a more scientific and dynamic manner. They have built indigenous structures for water conservation such as ponds and wells for several villages facing water scarcity. For skill development, they have established forward linkages for training women.

10. Larsen & Toubro Limited is an Indian multinational corporate with wide business sectors in engineering, construction, manufacturing goods, information technology, financial services, infrastructure and hydrocarbon and has more than 30 countries as their customers. L&T is aligned in accordance with the UN Social Development Goals. To cater to the water supply demand in several drought prone agricultural areas, they have constructed check dams. They have contributed to improved female literacy. The company constantly volunteers teaching children at community learning centres and encourages by taking them on educational trips and by conducting creativity workshops. It has also set up community health centres in various cities of India and conduct diagnostic and clinical camps for sustainable health education.

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[Written by: Mona S Bhatt, Image by Tata Chemicals.]

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Mona S Bhatt
An unparalled combination of brilliant and artistic taste in design, a creative niche for the brilliant amalgamation and execution of ideas with design, aesthetics, graphics and information structuring.. A well versed communications professional with design thinking to manage multiple projects and seamless communication. Mona’s varied experience in working as the Creative Head for two thriving and beautifully evolving Online Published Magazines, engaging in business and technology content, adheres to her resourcefulness and gravity of her deep commitment and engagement with the team.